New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t throw around compliments for his own players loosely. So it was definitely noteworthy when he made the claim that “nobody works harder” than second-year receiver Tre Nixon.
The comments came after Nixon hauled in four receptions for 81 yards, including a 36-yarder from rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, in Thursday’s preseason opener against the New York Giants.
It was an impressive bounce-back performance by the former seventh-round pick out of Central Florida, after an ugly drop in the first half had him shaking his head. But instead of allowing himself to be rattled by that one mistake, Nixon stepped up as one of the biggest impact players on the field.
“Nobody works harder than he does,” Belichick said after the game, via NESN’s Zack Cox. “He’s one of the hardest-working players on the team.”
Belichick on Tre Nixon: "Nobody works harder than he does. He's one of the hardest-working players on the team."
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 12, 2022
Nixon is hoping not to get lost in the shuffle of receivers trying to make the final roster.
Opportunity is clearly knocking right now with a Patriots roster facing a lot of question marks, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. One of the biggest gripes with the unit over the years has been the inability to stretch the field.
Nixon stood out as a quality deep threat for Zappe, who looked as cool as the other side of a pillow when connecting on deep throws.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2022
As always, it’ll be a tough process for Belichick when whittling down the roster. But it’s also a fact that the Patriots weren’t the only team watching what happened on Thursday night.
Whether it’s in New England or someplace else, Nixon will be in a uniform in 2022.